Maybe life is the way this taxi driver keeps complaining. Maybe it is the way he convinced me to board his taxi-“Oga, I get AC”. 30 minutes into traffic and he turns off the AC. Maybe that’s life, maybe saving fuel is life. Maybe life is the way he screams at the phone in Igbo to a relative. Is life that I just spent 4000 Naira on a cab? Is life the fact that I told my Mother’s driver not to wait for me? “I’ll find my way home, don’t worry about me”. I almost want to shut Mr. Taxi man up, a second ago he was pleading with me, suddenly he’s complaining about having to drive to the island. Maybe that’s life. You want what you want till it becomes inconvenient. It’s why relationships don’t last these days. It’s all fun and games when it’s rosy. We forget that roses have thorns. That’s life I suppose.
One glance out the window and I see this little child. You know that little child you see everyday on the streets of Lagos?: the stack naked one. He’s playing around and having a laugh with his other barely clothed friends. He probably didn’t have lunch yet he seems happy. Maybe that’s life, maybe life is this four-year old who doesn’t understand suffering. It will dawn on him in due time, his member would get sunburnt and like Adam and Eve he’ll know nakedness for the first time. He’ll notice the women in expensive dresses buying pepper from his mother. He’ll notice how they speak fluent English while his Mother replies in vernacular. He’ll see wealth and it’ll pass him by. It would visit him every time he sees Mr. Olalekan’s convoy of ‘Benzes’, it’ll hurt and hunt him. He might hate his parents; he might succumb to the ‘wayward’ life. But for now, he smiles as he cheerfully kicks around a double-leathered football.
Maybe life is when reality strikes, Maybe it’s about having that ‘Adam and Eve’ Moment. ‘I’m not as beautiful as the other girls’; ‘I’ll never be good enough’; ‘Nobody likes me’. Maybe life is having insecurities; maybe it is graduating from powder to foundation. Maybe it is pretending not to be a virgin just to be one of the ‘guys’ and then actually losing your virginity just to be one of the ‘guys’.
We get to the palms as I take a detour from going home. The traffic caused by the sheer number of automobiles trying to get into palms adds insult to Mr. Taxi man’s injury. I almost want to laugh at him but I understand his pain. He drops me off, and I don’t say “thank you” as I usually do. Maybe life is I being angry that he’s angry. The ‘palms’ is quite empty today; the rich kids are probably at school. Maybe life is a bunch of teenagers in short skirts and Peruvian hair. Maybe life is a “player” having three sisters. Maybe life is disguised Karma: a “player” might not be played but his sisters might be preyed upon by his ‘kind’. Life is unfair; maybe that’s life. Life doesn’t make sense yet it does. We can only control our destinies and still we’re limited. I just bought a ticket to see ‘Madea’s Christmas’. That’s life: seeing a movie I’d rather not pay for.
♠ Tomi.O, sometime in Dec 2013.